1199c Training Fund

The 1199c Training Fund is a negotiated benefit established to assist members of District 1199c, which is an affiliate of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO. The Training Fund’s Learning Center in Center City, Philadelphia provides basic and job skills training to over 2,000 students per year, and is committed to providing healthcare workers with the opportunities to advance into better jobs. About half of the students are union members and half are community residents, including laid-off workers and welfare recipients. The Fund’s Learning Center supports an experienced staff of 60 part-time instructors and 35 full-time staff.

The 1199c Training Fund initially reached out to the DSI program to help them understand their membership’s needs around professional development education offered by the Fund with the goal of improving the visibility of these offerings and increasing their use. The primary objective of this first project was to explore new possibilities for the 1199c Training Fund’s outreach efforts to the membership of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees.

A key finding that emerged from one of the co-design workshops during the first engagement with the Training Fund pointed to a need to address the reception area of the Learning Center. DSI design students and Training Fund staff identified that both the spatial configuration and general intake system for reception staff would benefit from closer analysis, user research, and redesign. The primary objective of this next phase of the collaboration was to address how the reception area and intake system currently function in order to learn with Training Fund staff how improvements might be designed and implemented.

In our third semester of work with the Training Fund, our partners have identified their Continuing Education Curriculum and its marketing strategy to be an opportunity space that would benefit from closer analysis, user research, and redesign. The primary objective is to synthesize already collected data and facilitate a design process to improve and refresh the current curriculum, while simultaneously addressing other barriers to participation. The focus will be on boosting the union member enrollment, while maintaining current enrollment of the general public.